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Students Need More 'Finance Advice'

Oct 11, 2007
University attendees need more education about the importance of managing their finances, a student spokesperson has advised.

According to a representative for the National Union of Students (NUS), undergraduates are not receiving enough guidance on the need to handle their money effectively while away from home. Although it was stated that there are "plenty" of programmes taking place within secondary schools teaching young people about how to plan their finances later in life, the student organisation stated that more should be done to help them as they enter further education. The NUS spokesperson claimed that such education was required as students will be becoming financially independent for the first time and will be able to access borrowing methods such as loans and credit cards.

She said: "We'd say they're not getting enough advice. There's a lot of initiatives in terms of financial education for students in secondary school which is really useful and will hold students in very good stead later in life. But bearing in mind that an awful lot of students when they leave to go to university are experiencing their first time away from home, managing bills and stuff like that - and given the pressure on students in every other part of their life, it would seem sensible that they were given more financial advice, especially when there is so much open to them - credit cards, loans, etcetera. Given all of those things are open to them, we'd hope they'd be given better advice financially."

Meanwhile, it was suggested that those looking to take out a product or open an account with a bank or other financial services provider should look to avoid the "gimmicks" institutions may offer in an attempt to "bribe students to go there". The NUS spokesperson stated that students should disregard such offers and concentrate on the actual features of the product, especially on the level of interest charged. She reported that consumers "lulled in" by uncompetitive deals may see pressure on their finances increasing in coming months "especially with the commercial rate of debt".

In addition, she reported that the effects of student debt can affect young people's ability to manage their finances in the years after leaving university. As they have often begin repaying their student loan at the time when "they're most financially vulnerable"- for instance they are also starting to think about making their initial steps on the property ladder or raising a family - in turn such consumers could well find their ability to service other demands on their spending, for example paying personal loans and utility bills, squeezed further.

Consequently, those consumers who find that they are particularly struggling to manage their finances in the years following graduation may well wish to consider opting for a debt consolidation loan. In doing so, borrowers could be able to merge money owed to a number of creditors into a single low-rate monthly repayment, which could consequently leave them with more disposable income. This spring, Helen Saxon, from the Finance and Leasing Association, reported that although opting for a debt consolidation loan can be a useful way of managing their finances, consumers should be aware of how much money they are taking on and whether they will be able to afford making repayments.
About the Author
Steve Smith writes for 1 Stop Finance Shop, a one stop, Personal Loans Shop, with information on bad credit loans and debt consolidation loans available on site.
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